Closing of the 23rd IFPDA Print Fair

International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA)

November 19, 2014

November 5–9, 2014

www.printfair.com

The International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA) Print Fair closed on an exuberant note as its 90 exhibiting dealers reported high praise and excellent sales. A palpable frisson of excitement was in the air at the opening night preview with an impressive crowd and the announcement of the annual Richard Hamilton Acquisition Prize to Oregon’s Portland Art Museum, the four-day fair drew 9,500 visitors, an increase of 15% over 2013. 

By Friday evening, the Portland Art Museum’s curator Mary Chapin had announced the museum’s acquisition, a virtuoso landmark etching by artist James Ensor, the first state of The Cathedral dated 1886 from dealer William P. Carl Fine Prints. Champion & Partners, the leading global retained executive search firm, generously sponsors the annual prize, which provides 10,000 USD to fund a museum purchase at the fair. 

The fair also launched the first of an annual artist lecture series funded by Jordan D. Schnitzer, the Portland, Oregon-based real estate investor whose eponymous foundation’s collection exceeds 8,000 works. Mel Bochner was the featured guest speaker and his fascinating lecture on the role of printmaking in his artistic oeuvre was presented to a full house. 

“By every account, this year’s Print Fair was our most successful to date,” said Michele Senecal, Executive Director of the IFPDA. “The dealers pulled out all the stops and presented a comprehensive range of high profile artists that appealed to curators and collectors—both young and old—across the board.” Some of the notable artists and collectors spotted at the four-day fair included Ronald, Jo Carole and Aerin Lauder; Leon Black; Len Riggio; Kiki Smith; Donald Sultan; and Alex Katz. 

Another great strength of the Print Fair is its attraction for curators from major international museums. More than 500 curators attended this year to select prints for their institutional collections and to lead patron tours of the fair. They too sang the fair’s praises. “The Print Fair is the Art Basel for the print world,” said David W. Kiehl, Curator of Prints and Special Collections at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Mr. Kiehl also emphasized that the Print Fair is a great place to start buying art. “Everyone, novice and expert, always learns something new.”

Said Emanuel von Baeyer of London, “We were very pleased with the Fair and made a sale within the first 20 minutes of the preview. From that point on we were replenishing our walls daily.” 

According to dealer Anne-Françoise Gavanon at London-based Frederick Mulder, Ltd., the action never stopped. She noted that more visitors were buying this year, including sales to new clients, and that the booth was very busy from start to finish. She reported numerous sales of prints by Henri Matisse from his seminal Jazz portfolio, as well as etchings from Picasso’s La Suite Vollard

At Senior and Shopmaker, Betsy Senior and Lawrence Shopmaker featured the work of a single artist: Robert Mangold. They reported lively sales of his woodcuts, including a rare set of four printed by Mangold himself, which was snapped up an important collector. Both Senior and Shopmaker said the fair looked the best it ever had and were impressed by the caliber of people who attended.

Carl Solway, whose Solway Gallery is based in Cincinnati, also presented a single artist: Jay Bolotin and his newest project: The Book of Only Enoch. Said Michael Solway: “The Print Fair is the most important venue to show Bolotin’s work. The energy is fantastic and the quality of the attendees has been consistently strong.”

Gordon Cooke of The Fine Art Society in London was pleased to sell James McNeill Whistler’s very important etching Nocturne: Dance House (1889), while Gerrish Fine Arts and Helmut H. Rumbler Kunsthandel agreed that they met numerous curators and were very pleased by the openness and elegance of the fair.

Next year’s IFPDA Print Fair opens on October 28, 2015. More information at printfair.com. View the fair exclusively on artsy.net.